Thursday, November 22, 2007


Regional shipping on piracy alert
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 5:18am
A worrying trend in the increasing intensity and ferocity of pirate attacks on commercial shipping vessels has put the regional shipping industry on high alert, as attacks on container, vehicle and general cargo ships continue to rise. Full Story

Chirac faces formal investigation
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:49am
A judge filed preliminary charges against former President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday in a probe of suspicions that people were given fake jobs while he was mayor of Paris, his lawyer said. Former French President Jacques Chirac faces a formal investigation into embezzlement allegations. Full Story

Transport 'sabotage' hits France
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:51am
Striking railway workers have carried out "a coordinated campaign of sabotage" on the tracks of France's high-speed TGV rail network, setting fire to cables and signal boxes and causing delays of up to three hours, France's national rail authority said Wednesday. Commuters wait for trains at Paris Saint-Lazare subway station. Full Story

UK's families put on fraud alert
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:53am
Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing. The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people. Full Story

Four Buddhists killed in Thai Muslim south ambush
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 8:56am
Suspected Islamic rebels killed four Buddhist state officials on Wednesday in a roadside gun attack in Thailand's rebellious Muslim south, police said. Four militants on two motorcycles attacked the officials in their car with a pistol and an M-16 rifle. One man and two women were killed instantly in a village in Pattani, one of the southern provinces caught up in a separatist insurgency. Full Story

India deploys army to quell industry-farm row riots
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:05am
The Indian army was called out to quell violent protests in the eastern city of Kolkata on Wednesday as new trouble broke out in a political row over the killing of villagers opposed to surrendering land for industry. Soldiers with automatic rifles patrolled the heart of the usually bustling city after protesters hurled stones, shattered car and bus windscreens, burned vehicles and blocked traffic. Full Story

Australians expected to vote John Howard out of office on Saturday
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:09am
Australia is likely to draw the curtain on 11 years of government by the center-right coalition of Prime Minister John Howard when general elections are held Saturday, polls indicate. Howard is one of Australia's most experienced politicians, and few analysts are ready to write off his chances entirely, but a survey published Tuesday shows that his coalition government is trailing the Labor Party by 46 percent to 54 percent, with the coalition on the defensive over inflation, interest rates, labor rights and the environment. Full Story

At least 150 dead in PNG floods
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:13am
At least 150 people are now known to have died in eastern Papua New Guinea in floods triggered by heavy rain, reports from the Pacific nation say. Hundreds of people have been displaced, officials say, and a state of emergency has been declared in the affected area. Full Story

Arroyo orders evacuation as storm nears Philippines
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:16am
Tropical storm Mitag bore down on the eastern Philippines on Wednesday, flooding large areas of the region and forcing the government to order large-scale evacuations, days after another killed 10 people in the country's south. Mitag was gaining strength with winds of up to 85 kilometres (53 miles) an hour and was on course to hit the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila on Friday, weather forecasters said. Full Story

Resurgent Taliban closing in on Kabul
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:19am
The conflict in Afghanistan has reached "crisis proportions," with the resurgent Taliban present in more than half the country and closing in on Kabul, a report said on Wednesday. If NATO, the lead force operating in Afghanistan, is to have any impact against the insurgency, troop numbers will have to be doubled to at least 80,000, the report said. Full Story

Putin Attacks 'Jackal' Opponents
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:23am
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused opposition politicians of scavenging like jackals for funds from foreign embassies. He also accused the West of meddling in Russian politics, saying: "Those who confront us need a weak and ill state." Full Story

No Agreement in Kosovo Discussion
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:28am
Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders have failed to reach agreement at talks aimed at settling the status of the UN-administered province. The Kosovo Albanian delegation included former guerrilla Hashim Thaci, who claimed victory in polls last weekend boycotted by Kosovo's Serb minority. He has said Kosovo could declare independence if talks fail to yield a deal by 10 December - the UN deadline. Full Story

EU Aims to Expand Membership Talks with Turkey Despite French Reservations
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:33am
The European Union's executive office said Tuesday it wants to move ahead with its membership negotiations with Turkey next month despite reservations by France and other EU nations. Olli Rehn, the EU official in charge of the 27-nation bloc's expansion, said the talks would progress into two new policy areas  health and consumer policies and transport on Dec. 18. Talks in several other areas remain frozen by the EU because of Ankara's difficult relations with EU member Cyprus. Full Story

First Top Level Military Three Way Meeting Takes Place in Ankara
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:12am
The first top level military official meeting concerning moves against the PKK, following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's November 5 meeting with US President George W. Bush at the White House, took place yesterday in Ankara. US military commanders General David Petraeus and General James Cartwright arrived in the Turkish capital yesterday early to meet with Turkish General Ergin Saygun. Full Story

Signing Energy Deal With Iran, Ankara Vows to Defy US Pressure
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:21am
Ankara and Tehran signed a new energy deal on Tuesday and Turkey pledged to sign further energy accords with neighboring Iran, including natural gas deals, in clear defiance of US pressure on its allies to avoid such ties with Iran. Full Story

Georgia: Analysts Believe Chances for NATO Slim
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:31am
In a sharp reversal from Georgias earlier optimism, some Georgian analysts now believe that the November 7 protest crackdown in Tbilisi has marred  if not shattered  the South Caucasus state's chances for accelerated integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.Georgia had hoped to receive a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the last step for applicant countries before completing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership process, during the alliance's April 2008 Bucharest summit. Senior diplomats from the United States, the country's closest Western ally, now stress the January 2008 presidential elections are the key test for whether Georgian democracy is back on track to reach that step. Full Story

Pakistan's Khan released from jail
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:58am
Pakistani authorities Wednesday freed hunger-striking cricket legend Imran Khan from prison, where he has been detained for the last week under anti-terrorism laws, jail officials said. "We have released Imran Khan on the instructions of the provincial government," Sheikh Inamur Rehman, superintendent of Dera Ghazi Khan prison in central Punjab province, told AFP. Full Story
Wanted: Participants for Mideast Talks
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:16am
The Bush administration finally acknowledged publicly on Tuesday that it had issued formal invitations to 40 countries and organizations that it hopes will attend a heavily anticipated Middle East peace conference scheduled for next week in Annapolis, Md.

But the long, drawn-out route that State Department officials followed before making the acknowledgment reflected the high-stakes gamble that the administration is taking, as well as the unsettled nature of the outcome. Even late Tuesday afternoon, administration officials were still in negotiations with their Arab counterparts over whether Saudi Arabia and Syria would send their foreign ministers to the conference, or make do with lower-level envoys. Full Story

Palestinians to get armoured cars
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:17am
Israel has approved the transfer of 25 armoured vehicles to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. The move has long been opposed by Israeli security forces but officials described it as a goodwill gesture.

The Russian-made vehicles are to be deployed in Nablus. Israel also allowed provision of 1,000 guns and 2m bullets. The moves are meant to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will attend peace talks next week in the US city of Annapolis. Full Story

Iraq grants Lebanon $2 million to ease refugee burden
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:18am
The Iraqi government extended $2 million to Lebanon Tuesday to ameliorate the living conditions of the Iraqi refugees in Lebanon. The Iraqi Cabinet ratified a decision that gives Syria, Jordan and Lebanon $25 million "to [ease] the repercussions of the presence of Iraqi refugees' in these countries," Iraq's Al-Sumariya TV reported. An official source in the Iraqi Immigration Ministry told the television station that the monetary donation aims "to soothe the burden that the huge number of Iraqi refugees' might cause for these countries." The same source added that the amount was divided according to the proportion of the refugees present in these countries.

Hence, Syria was granted $15 million, Jordan was granted $8 million and Lebanon was given $2 million.
Prague airport to test unique liquid detector
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 2:15pm
The Prague-Ruzyne international airport will be the first to test the unique "anti-terrorist" device Emili 1 that is able to detect liquids, and thereby eliminate the hazardous ones such as acids and combustibles, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) reports. If the test operation, starting next week, were successful, passengers might be again allowed to take higher amounts of drinks aboard, the paper adds. Full Story

Airline passengers unscreened for Las Vegas flight
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:30am
Three times a week, you can board a flight to Las Vegas from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in the East Valley. But unlike at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, our cameras found that on more than one occasion, you'll never pass through a metal detector or undergo any security screening at all. The carrier, Vision Airlines, calls itself a charter airline even though it offers scheduled flights at the same day and time. Full Story

Track money trails to combat terrorism call
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:32am
Financial records and audits provide "blueprints of the architecture" of terrorist organisations, a top banker said yesterday. "By following money trails through financial information sharing worldwide, we can unearth terrorist cells and networks, and save lives," Ithmaar Bank chief executive officer Michael Lee told delegates at the Middle East: Homeland and Global Security Forum. Full Story

Danish authorities criticize captain of ship hijacked off Somalia
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:35am
The Danish Maritime Authority on Wednesday partly blamed the captain of a cargo ship for a hijacking off Somalia, saying he did not do enough to protect the vessel from pirates. Somali pirates seized the Danica White on June 1 and held the ship and its five-man crew for 83 days. The ship and crew were released on Aug. 12 after the ship owner paid a ransom. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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